European Union’s Energy (In)security – Dependence on Russia


As the title suggests the article deals with the concept of energy security of the EU member states in respect to their dependency on oil and natural gas supplies from the Russian Federation. The aim of this paper is to explain why are the EU Member States so unwilling to give up their sovereignty in the sphere of energy and why is it so difficult to promote and carry out the Common Energy Policy of the EU in order to increase their energy security. And on the other hand, to show, what progress in the Common Energy Policy has already been achieved, mainly due to the presence of the “Russian threat”. The basic assumption of the paper is, that it is the dependence on foreign energy that influences, to what extent a country is willing to transfer control over its energy policy to the EU level. To be able to confirm or disprove this assumption, partial questions have to be answered: Why is it important to discuss the energy security of the EU? Why are the Russian Federation’s current policies being considered as a threat to energy security of the EU? To what extent do the EU/ its member states depend on the imports of oil and natural gas from Russia? What are the differences in the levels of energy dependency among the member states? Can different levels of energy dependency on Russia influence the attitude of the member states towards the Common Energy Policy of the EU? Why do the conflicts among the member states about securing the energy supplies arise (despite the Common Energy Policy)?

12.1.2008 22:27:58 | read 37347x | posts: 0 | Hlavacek | Full article

African Contexts of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP)

Lubomír ČECH

In the recent period, we are witnesses of an increased interest in African continent. The report based on the process of the European security and defense policy creation points at historical connections and relations of both continents. It accepts the genesis of EU – Africa relations and in a short analysis of key documents of the main EU institutions it emphasizes the endeavor to get mutual relations to a new level of a common strategy. This effort is conditioned by successful economy and social development in Africa. The EU therefore puts pressure in conflict prevention, mediation, humanitarian intervention and demobilization in tools within the ESDP implementation in its African contexts. Hand in hand with the endeavor to keep the peace and conflicts prevention, it joined more actively into the processes of revival after a conflict, by which it helped to provide a smooth change between the intervention help and help by a sustainable development of Africa.

12.1.2008 22:28:08 | read 15225x | posts: 0 | Hlavacek | Full article

EU Military Intervention in the Middle East? The Limits of ´Low Security Policy´


Projection of military force is one of the main tools of the European Security and Defence policy, yet, the planned use of force by the European Union is limited and it is appropriate to define ESDP as ‘low security policy’. The article asks whether an EU military intervention in the Middle East is feasible under these conditions. It focuses on the influence of the European Security Strategy on European Security and Defence Policy, reviews the military missions, which the Union has deployed so far, and compares the resulting matrix against the crises looming in the region of Greater Middle East. It concludes that even with its limited capabilities, an EU military action in the area does not have to be ruled out.

12.1.2008 22:28:27 | read 17895x | posts: 0 | Hlavacek | Full article

Czech Soldiers and UN Peacekeeping Operations

Oldřich BUREŠ*, Lenka DUŠKOVÁ**

The article offers an analysis of the participation of Czech soldiers in the United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operations. After a brief introduction concerning the terminology and practice of UN peacekeeping, the authors examine the strategic, legal and financial aspects of Czech army contributions to UN peacekeeping missions. Training and preparation procedures are also reviewed, followed by a critical analysis of both the tangible and intangible benefits that the participation of Czech soldiers brings to the Czech army and the Czech Republic. One section of the article is devoted to a review of the key weaknesses and problems related to the participation of Czech soldiers in multilateral missions abroad. The authors were surprised to find out that little systematic research has been hitherto conducted when it comes to the analysis of the Czech army contributions to UN peacekeeping operations. This article is therefore also intended as a call for further research and analysis of this important subject matter.

12.1.2008 22:28:50 | read 46234x | posts: 1 | Hlavacek | Full article

The European Defence Agency after 3 Years


In the year 2007, it has been three years since the establishment of the European Defence Agency (EDA), which is designed to support the Member States of the European Union (EU) in their effort to improve defence capabilities in order to sustain the European Defence and Security Policy (ESDP). The article describes the main EDA’s activities in four segments of action: the European Defence Equipment Market and the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base; armaments cooperation; research and technology and the development of defence capabilities. In addressing particular projects, which the Agency undertakes in line with its mission, the article explores the work of the EDA and explains what function the Agency performs in developing European defence capabilities.

12.1.2008 22:28:58 | read 13846x | posts: 0 | Hlavacek | Full article

France after the Accession of Sarkozy – Changes in Security and Defence Policy


This text focuses on the potential changes in the French security and defence policy after the election of Nicolas Sarkozy as the new French President. It is expected that one of Sarkozy’s priorities will be repositioning of his country as a European player. His challenge will be to consolidate a more independent European defence effort, while not distancing France from NATO. Sarkozy’s foreign policy will differ expecially in closer cooperation with the US. Still the principle of autonomy and speaking its own mind vis-ŕ-vis the United States remains a matter of consensus in France. Another changes will emerge in reviewing of White Book of Defense. But the base of Sarkozy’s defence policy is strictly of economic nature. It lies in emphasis on a strenghtening of cooperation between members of EU, defence economics in general and a strong support for the defense industry.

12.1.2008 22:29:08 | read 12658x | posts: 0 | Hlavacek | Full article

Placing New Military Weapons into the Armed Forces of Russian Federation


Nowadays, there are frequent discussions about a new rise of political, economic and military power of Russia and a restoration of a superpower status of this country. The text deals with current changes in equipment of the armed forces of the Russian Federation, namely in context of the proceeding military reform, budget of the department of defense and significant changes in the military doctrine, tactics and strategy of Russia. Subsequently, it remarks six branches of Russian armed forces (i.e. rocket, space, air, land, airborne and naval forces), describes their transformations after the fall of the USSR and mentions the most important programs of upgrading old weapons and purchasing of new weapons. It also briefly analyzes the unusual Russian approach to development and acquisition of weapons. Despite some problems, the “technological” part of the Russian military reform is viewed as relatively successful.

12.1.2008 22:29:15 | read 35820x | posts: 0 | Hlavacek | Full article

A Visionary and a Practitioner: the Bernard Kouchner vs. David Kilcullen


The aim of this article is the presentation of the most modern theory by David J. Kilcullen, devoted to counterinsurgency. The core element of Kilcullen´s theory is establishing the counterinsurgency term. Because of this fact Kilcullen focused on the human and his security. Thus, it is possible to state that the Kilcullen´s thesis is connected with the human security theory. On the other hand, the humankind and the human security idea is concerned by Bernard Kouchner, the present Minister of Foreign Affairs in France. Kouchner was called as "the father of modern interventionism" and his idea of conducting humanitarian intervention was used during the NATO operation in Balkans in the 90s. The author of the article is searching links between the Kilcullen´s and Kouchner´s thesis.

12.1.2008 22:29:28 | read 29666x | posts: 0 | Hlavacek | Full article
Created 12.1.2008 22:27:48 | read 12880x | Hlavacek